Having the whole family at home all the time may make converting your garage into something more livable all the more desirable.
However, this is not just a way to repurpose your garage during a “stay-at-home” order. Creating extra living space in your garage will have significant long-term benefits, including:
- Improving Your Home’s Market Value—Especially if everyone in your community has a typical garage, or if you already have a place to park your car without a garage, being one of the few houses on the market with a fully-featured extra living space in the garage will increase its market value. Professional realtors, appraisers, and prospective buyers will all be likely to place a higher value on a home with this additional space, and having an impressive “man cave” or home gym in the garage could be another huge selling point.
- Broadening Functionality—You may use the attic in your garage to build out additional storage, or you could remodel the garage and convert it into a multipurpose room or an entirely different living space like a bedroom or home office. There are many ways to make your garage more useful and functional for your family.
- Increasing Square Footage—If you build out your garage in such a way as to add a bedroom or other major living space, this not only adds more monetary value to your home but also makes your home bigger. You will have the square footage of living space. Who does not want that?
- Building a Truly Livable Extra Space—Most importantly, creating additional living space in your garage will help you and your family feel more at home. As you weather this pandemic, it is nice to know that you will be able to have an additional area where you can live your home life. This will open up your house to feel like you had a whole new home when all you did was build out a few things in the garage.
One of the most frequent benefits of a garage makeover is the potential value it can add to your property. Depending on how creative you are, you can convert your garage into a fitness or media centre.
Many designer-grade garage cabinet styles will not only meet your garage storage needs but also enhance the aesthetic beauty of your garage and home.
Another benefit that might not be immediately evident is the improvement it will have on your state of mind. When your living spaces are visually pleasing, you will enjoy spending time in them and find it more relaxing.
You probably enter your garage many times a day, and staring into clutter is not pleasant for anyone to see. By doing an affordable garage remodel, you can easily sort this problem out, add value to your property and enjoy spending time in a remodelled garage that is clean and organised.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of a garage remodel is that you don’t need to create new space. By making the most out of your garage, you can revitalise your home by building a stunning, practical interior that will appeal to future buyers should you ever decide to sell your house in the future.
You can even utilise your remodelled garage for additional income. If you choose to transform the space into a bedroom, you can rent out your new addition to a tenant, galvanising your financial situation.
Another huge draw of a garage remodel is a low-effort, low-risk venture. Ever wanted to try your hand at interior design or home refurbishment? Well, now you’ve got your chance. Your home already has a blank canvas that you can decorate in any style you like. Whether you want to paint the walls, re-tile the floor, or add some vibrant artwork, how you furnish your newly refitted garage is up to you.
If you’re eager to treat your home to a bit of TLC, then converting your garage is one of the best things you can do for it. A reputable, professional garage conversion company will guide you through every step to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck out of your project. The down payments will be low, and the benefits you’ll get from remodelling your garage will be worth their weight in gold.
FAQs About Garage Renovation
Can You Renovate Your Garage?
A garage makeover isn’t always an easy process but is often a top priority for home renovations. Removing the clutter, redoing the floor and adding storage might create a room you’ll want to spend time in. At the least, you’ll be able to find that weed wacker or snowplough.
How Much Does It Cost to Redo the Inside of a Garage?
The national average cost range for a garage remodel is between $7,000 and $15,000, with most homeowners spending around $11,000 on a full 2-car garage remodel with new cabinet storage and floor coating.
Does an Insulated Garage Add Value?
Having an insulated garage allows you to work on these projects despite what the weather might be like.” You can save as much as $2,000 if you insulate your garage yourself. Ensure that the insulation you buy has the right R-value and is cut to the proper thickness.
Is a Garage Really Necessary?
How Important Is a Garage? For many homebuyers, a garage is a necessity. If you own a vehicle, a garage offers safety and convenience, as well as extra storage space. Even if you don’t need a garage, you could decide to sell your home in the future and have a hard time if it doesn’t have one.
Do Cars Last Longer in a Garage?
Do garaged cars last longer? Yes, a vehicle sheltered by any storage that protects it from snow, paint fade, sunshine, and rain will stay in excellent condition longer than a car not protected from external elements.
Why Invest in a Garage Conversion?
First, let’s think about the usability of that space; it’s a broad scope of opportunity. As we’ve mentioned, most garages aren’t used for parking. Cars are bigger, garages haven’t grown, and they’re often a pain to get in and out when you’ve got a handy parking space right outside your door.
Converting a garage gives you thousands of options for using that space more effectively, and there are no limits on what you might do with it!
Some of our recent garage conversions have included:
- Creating home office spaces, gyms and playrooms.
- Expanding interior rooms such as kitchens or living areas.
- Developing an annex for a family member to move into.
- Adapting disability-friendly spaces with more room to manoeuvre.
These are only the tip of the iceberg, and given that the garage is separate from your main property, you can knock through to create internal access, remove the wall entirely, or keep it as a standalone asset.
Planning Permission and Building Regulations for Garage Conversions
Planning permission can make even the most enterprising home improvement fan reluctant. Still, there are several solutions to streamline the process and ensure you can convert your garage any way you’d like!
Here are some of the options:
- Keeping the external aesthetics as they are. You leave the garage doors in position but block up the entrance to remodel the interior. That option means you won’t usually need any planning and can proceed through Permitted Development rights.
- Using Pinnacle Works for your garage conversion means our team of experts are on hand to provide support and ensure the building regulations approval process is managed seamlessly.
- Opt for a total property makeover with our help to ensure you have accurate drawings, specifications and costings to pass through the planning permission system without a hitch.
A great factor in a garage conversion is that it’s minimally intrusive, so you won’t need to worry about dust, debris and muddy boots – not that we’d ever leave home in anything but pristine condition!
Garage conversion projects can proceed even when you’re at home, and the Pinnacle Works team consult every client about the best scheduling for noisier tasks such as knocking through a wall or creating a new door space.
Note that converting the garage won’t impact your council tax and is tailored to your style preferences and aspirations.
Steps to Garage Profitability
Determining the health of your business is pretty straightforward. Deduct the cost of running your business from your revenue generation, and you’ve made a profit. Upon closer inspection, this deceptively simple business practice can, for many independent workshops, be difficult to achieve.
With margins increasingly squeezed, you must have a handle on your business’ performance regularly. If your business has money in the bank, it doesn’t necessarily make it profitable and leaving it once a year when your accountant calculates your P&L could have catastrophic implications for the future well being of your garage.
You need to understand the profitability of literally every job that goes through your workshop. Only then will you know which jobs make you money and which are losing vital revenue.
Knowing the value of each job you undertake, from the cost of labour and parts to any directly connected marketing activity, can you be confident that each job has been priced properly.
Whether you are a small garage in a village or a large workshop with several ramps and large fleet contracts, the more information you have on your business’ productivity and profitability, the better your business will run. The less likely you will ever find yourself teetering on closure.
Deducting the amount you spend from your income to calculate your profitability may sound simple. Still, you will be surprised at how many businesses do not have a snapshot of their profitability at any given moment in time.
Calculating this every month means you can make adjustments to compensate when business slows. You will also see if the changes you made had the desired effect.
Track your revenue
First, you need to calculate your company’s revenue which may arrive in your business via different routes, although it will be mostly cards with some cash transactions. Keeping track of every month will help you understand how much and in what way your revenue is generated, so you will need to link your transactions to the jobs undertaken.
Tracking your income is much easier than calculating your profit, so don’t fall into the common trap of just keeping abreast of your revenue. Using accounting software or cloud-based software systems makes measuring and tracking much easier, and you are less likely to be caught unawares and suffer cash flow problems.
Accurate management accounts will help you stay on the road to profit which in turn will help determine if you can afford the investment in the new MOT ramp you have your eye on to boost your business further.
Follow your costs
You will need to add up your business costs. Some will be regular such as your wage bill, rent and rates, whilst others will be dependent on the tasks you have undertaken, the parts required will fluctuate, and if you have invested in new equipment, it will have an immediate impact on your bottom line. It is imperative to have a full working knowledge of your overheads to calculate your profitability accurately.
Fixed costs, like the rent, are easier to calculate than your variable costs, which are linked to the number of labour hours you sold. You can forecast your fixed costs for the next 12-months or so, these are unlikely to change significantly, but your variable costs depend on your productivity.
You will, however, be able to estimate the number of labour hours you will need to sell on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis to meet your fixed costs and break even. You will also know how many labour hours, parts and accessories you need to sell to profit. Of course, this will not be as precise as your fixed costs, but this forecast will provide you with a framework.
Please don’t get too bogged down in the terminology. Whilst wages are a fixed cost because you know how many people you employ and how much you pay them, your labour costs are also variable and directly linked to productivity.
But, you will still have to pay your staff if they are standing in the workshop twiddling their thumbs as you would if your garage has a steady stream of vehicles on the ramp.
Similarly, your utility bills vary between being a fixed and variable cost: undertake a marketing campaign where you telephone customers whose vehicles are due to service to boost bookings and your bill will be higher. Likewise, your electricity bill could increase alongside an increase in service.
Determine your pricing
If you know which jobs are the most profitable, you can concentrate your efforts on attracting more of this type of work. You may also need to adjust your pricing structure for those jobs which are not as profitable as they should be, and you will be able to identify your most profitable customers and build in some value-added service when they bring their vehicles into your workshop.
Streamline your expenses.
Knowing the income of a day’s work or a particular job against the completion cost, the price you charge and the profit you make will improve efficiencies and identify areas where savings can be made.
Becoming more streamlined translates into profits. Look to reduce the number of your suppliers, for example, although in some cases, delivery time may outweigh costs if you have a customer waiting for a vehicle to be fixed.
Focusing on these aspects will help make your business much more efficient and cost-effective. Don’t get too trigger happy, though. Too much cost-cutting and the quality of your artistry and customer service could suffer, thereby detrimental effect on your profits.
Seeing the big picture – The art of forecasting
Knowledge is strength. By understanding your profitability in minute detail, you will identify your business’s strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to build on one and improve on the other.
Having the ability to forecast will help you make both short and long term plans and set achievable goals, as well as create a strategy to manage seasonal dips.
There will be less obvious trends and some which are peculiar to your business or location, understanding how your business ticks on within the context of a holistic view mean you can prepare yourself for both the busy and quiet times.
Get ready to grow your business.
Once you have gained an overall view of your business and you are in the habit of keeping tabs on your profitability, you will be in the best place from which to spring forward and develop your business.
Growing your business requires additional staff and possible investment in your workshop, either way, you will need to present a good business case to your bank or at least be able to justify it financially for your peace of mind.
Leverage technology to provide insights
You can, of course, get to grips with the question of income versus costs and profits using spreadsheets. Still, to enjoy the holistic view and drill down into the detail with specific reports on individual jobs or particular periods to help identify seasonal fluctuations, you need a system that helps you see the wood for the trees.
There are plenty of cloud-based systems on the market which require little investment in terms of hardware (think Facebook and LinkedIn – you don’t have to worry about development, hosting and security because a huge corporation does it on your behalf, working in the cloud is the same) and you automatically enjoy the benefits of technological advancements.
Benefits of Converting a Garage
Garage conversions offer some attractive benefits, and they’re not all about having flexibility in how you change your home.
Separation from the Main Property
Think about a quiet snug for relaxing, a home gym where you can make as much noise as you like, a private office space, or a music rehearsal studio where you won’t need to watch the volume dial.
Potential for Changes in Use
Teenagers like privacy, and little ones tend to gather no end of toys! Using a garage as a dedicated children’s space keeps the clutter at bay and frees up ‘adult’ living rooms, allowing your home to feel more peaceful.
Change your mind? The framework of the garage conversion is there, so you can redecorate and use that space however you wish in the future.
Adding Value to Your Home
Undoubtedly, in central city areas where parking is at a premium, a garage can be a great asset. However, most homes don’t need this room, so converting the garage is an excellent way to maximise living space.
Buyers will happily pay more for any home with an additional room compared to neighbouring property listings, and having a professional garage conversion can be a major selling point.
A garage conversion can add as much as 10% to the value of a home. Given the relatively low work cost – since the core structure is already there – it’s a high return on investment compared to any other home improvement project.
Making Your Workshop Work Harder
Perhaps you’d love your workshop or to keep your garage as a functional area for storage but without the unused floor space.
There are two options here – a total conversion, where you reconfigure the whole space or a partial conversion, where you keep some areas as a storage space or workshop, with the rest used for other purposes.
Optimising garage space can completely change how you use it. That might mean adding insulation, more windows, installing heating and proper lighting so you can work any time of the day or night.
Storage racking, robust flooring and user-friendly access points make a garage workshop far easier to use and a better place to work.
Increasing the Garage Size
Another option is to look at optimising the space available. For example, some of our clients want to use that extra capacity to extend outwards, making a small living room or stuffy kitchen far more generous.
Garages tend to be boxy shapes, which means they are relatively easy to convert and can make a significant difference in the flow of air and light around your home.